Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Honours Physics Laboratory PHYS4009

  • Academic Session: 2021-22
  • School: School of Physics and Astronomy
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

To provide students with an opportunity to develop knowledge and understanding of the key principles and applications of the Physics Laboratory course, and their relevance to current developments in physics.


Tuesdays and Thursdays 11am-5pm

Requirements of Entry

This course is normally only open to students who meet the requirements for entry, or progression, for a degree programme which includes Honours Physics Laboratory as an elective or compulsory course.


Honours Physics Laboratory is a compulsory course for the following degree programmes:


BSc (Honours) Physics, BSc (Honours) Combined Physics, BSc (Honours) Chemical Physics, BSc (Honours) Physics with Astrophysics, MSci Physics, MSci Combined Physics, MSci Physics with Astrophysics, MSci Chemical Physics, MSci Chemical Physics with Work Placement


Honours Physics Laboratory is an elective course for the following degree programmes:

BSc (Designated) Physics, BSc (Designated) Combined Physics, BSc (Designated) Physics with Astrophysics


Honours Physics Laboratory is a prohibited course for the following degree programmes:


BSc Theoretical Physics, MSci Theoretical Physics

Excluded Courses

  Honours Computational Physics Laboratory, Theoretical Physics Group Project


  Mathematical Methods 1; Waves and Diffraction; Quantum Mechanics; Thermal Physics


Laboratory 100%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. This includes all elements of continuous assessment, where practical constraints do not afford reassessment opportunities.

Course Aims

To provide students with an opportunity to develop knowledge and understanding of the key principles of experimental physics, and their importance for the planning and execution of experimental investigations of physical processes using both standard and more advanced laboratory equipment.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of the course, students will be able to demonstrate a knowledge and broad understanding of the key principles of experimental physics. They should be able to: programme straightforward procedures in a high level computer language; evaluate random and systematic errors inherent in experimental measurements; analyse and interpret experimental data and make a critical assessment and draw valid conclusions from the results of experimental investigations; apply computer software to analyse experimental data and to write scientific reports; prepare a detailed written report on an experimental investigation; apply logical analysis to problem solving; appreciate open problems typical of business situations.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Not applicable.